Opinion

Opinion

Melton in Bloom, with Marie Walters

We’re very pleased to announce that The Edge Community Centre Garden has achieved a Level 3 – ‘Advancing’ in their first entry into the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ campaign, which is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.

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Dog trainer and behaviourist Lynne Marshall with Goldendoodle Teddy  and Labradoodle Bonnie EMN-150515-091542001

Column: Love Your Dog, with Lynne Marshall, a dog behaviourist and trainer from Nether Broughton

How sad to hear about little Billy who nearly lost his eye when he was attacked by a dog recently. There have been a couple of other incidents in Melton this month so I thought it may help to talk about dog aggression, what causes it and how you can help both your dog and others.

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Leicestershire Police chief constable Simon Cole EMN-150311-132732001

Column: Chief constable’s ‘Thought for the day’

“The other day I followed a farrier’s van down Soar Valley way out of the city and into the county. The business of shoeing horses still continues.

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John Bone: For once, I’m on the side of bureaucracy

It goes without saying that the education of children is a paramount duty of parents and the state. But in order to achieve it, both parents and state must behave reasonably, not make that education unreasonably hard to reach. This is why we should examine carefully the case of the Soham mother, Anna Davies, newly arrived from Northamptonshire with her three school-age children and a fourth aged only nine weeks. Miss Davies applied for three school places on August 7 and was dismayed when two were still unplaced as the school year began.

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John Bone: Steady on, Disgusted of Soham

As I have made clear in the past, I have every respect for vegans like Emily Keates who keeps a big black pig in her home at Soham. I even sometimes toy with the notion of vegetarianism myself – until I catch a whiff of frying bacon. But I do wish vegans could avoid sounding so pious and even, not to put too fine a point on it, rude.

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John Bone: What a powerful transformation

Some of us cannot get used to the way the once-sluggish, unimaginative, argumentative and consultant-ridden Forest Heath District Council has transformed itself into the West Suffolk powerhouse.

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Dog trainer and behaviourist Lynne Marshall with Goldendoodle Teddy  and Labradoodle Bonnie EMN-150515-091542001

Love Your Dog with Lynne Marshall: Don’t neglect pets when you move

Moving home is classed as one of the most stressful events in our lives.

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John Bone: Even safety signs can be dangerous

How kind of Highways England to promise almost all roadworks will be suspended from tomorrow for the bank holiday weekend. They say that in the East of England alone, more than 70 miles of works will be either lifted or completed. Good for them and good for us. It would be even more helpful if Highway England would stop pestering us and distracting us with do-this and do-that messages on roadside electronic gantries. I sometimes think looking up to read one of these digital announcements when approaching a roundabout or tricky interaction could be more dangerous than defying the slogans by speeding or drinking. By all means use these costly message systems when some unexpected problem has arisen, but not for everyday generalised scolding and chivvying.

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John Bone: Now Abellio must deliver promises

If Abellio expect local commuters to shout “Yaroo!” like Billy Bunter let loose in a sweet shop, they should think again. The train operators have retained the franchise with a tempting list of promised improvements. They open up a pleasant prospect of prompt, clean, uncrowded carriages operating to a tight timetable.

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John Bone: Time to take a leaf out of Ely’s book

I trust someone at Forest Heath who has Newmarket’s happiness at heart is keeping an eye on what is happening at Ely where after four years’ patient planning a multi-million Leisure Complex nears completion this year. Masterminded by East Cambs District Council, Ely Leisure Village is cinema-centred and has already signed up five big names in the restaurant industry. Sadly, Newmarket, for centuries the capital of the region’s leisure industry, has lately hitched its wagon to the sometimes seamy scene of naughty nightclubs. Meanwhile, what most of us would prefer is a proper picture house and decent places to meet and eat.

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John Bone: Children have right to roam, too

As the school summer holidays get under way I feel some sympathy for those many parents who see the world as such a perilous place that they protect their children from every risk, real or imaginary. But how can I convince some of these doting mums and dads that they may be a little too cherishing? How dare I suggest they are robbing their darlings of precious experience of the real physical world? The best I can offer is that from the ages of seven to 17 I spent every summer roaming free, alone or with my mates, over square miles of rough open countryside full of ponds and pitfalls, barbed wire, thorny thickets and ruined buildings, without getting more than a scratch. My only serious injuries throughout that joyous period were sustained at home, usually under the very eyes of my watchful mother.

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John Bone: Pay someone to run village fete?

Wood Ditton’s lively parish council are considering paying people to help organise village events like a barbecue or the annual fireworks. This would be a radical departure from the age-old village tradition of relying on volunteers and my first reaction was dismay. Is this what rural life has come to?

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John Bone: Poems ... here’s looking at you

An exhibition of poems sounds the strangest of events. Surely poems are to be read quietly when alone or read aloud to an audience. They are not to be looked at. Yet there is an exhibition of poems at Newmarket Library right now after transferring from (even stranger) Waitrose. Yes, I know, it sounds daft but, (strangest yet), this show by poet Yvonne Zellen coupled with photographs, actually works. What next? A symphony concert consisting of sheet music pinned to a wall?Art has no boundaries.

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John Bone: Shame to miss the staycation rush

It is a thousand pities that Newmarket’s new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art has had to be closed for completion, before opening properly in the autumn. So many economic factors suggest this will be a prime summer for holidays at home. Everything, apart perhaps from the weather, points to a promising season for East Anglia’s tourist trade. Yet our big new draw will be shut. What a shame the work could not be delayed or advanced to catch the favourable wind. But I suppose a century is a short space of time in Newmarket’s history and we must be patient.

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John Bone: When Mother Nature is in the dock

I am an almost obsessive gardener yet I feel very uneasy about the way a Newmarket couple have been treated over their “unsightly” plot. The Bordas of Edinburgh Road were summoned before Bury Magistrates for breaking a Forest Heath instruction to take axes and saws to their overgrown front and back gardens because they were “a nuisance.”

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John Bone: Racing towards the magic 10 million

Racing nationally may have lowered its aim from ten million to seven million racegoers each year but Newmarket can pride itself on having already done more than most to achieve that ambition. The latest study for the Racecourse Association shows 66 percent of racegoers see it purely as a social occasion, 88 percent of them go only once a year and, tellingly, 39 percent are women, which is a higher female attendance than any other sport.

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John Bone: I hope she’s barking up the right tree

I offer a welcoming “Woof!” to Jenessa Springall who is East Cambridgeshire’s new dog warden. Somehow I imagine dog wardens to be grumpy old men with bite scars on their ankles. So it’s a pleasant surprise to know Jenessa is a young blonde with a sense of canine mission. She wants to do herself out of a job by getting us all to microchip our dogs and make it easy to identify runaways. She 
may manage that but I have little hope she will achieve another part of her job; 
stopping troublesome barking.

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The Hillsborough memorial at Anfield EMN-160428-180851002

Melton Times Sports Editor’s Blog: The day football and I changed forever

In the wake of the landmark findings of the Hillsborough inquest, please take a look at this Extra Time account, first published four years ago.

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John Bone: Counties link would bring a bonus

Whatever the outcome of the present somewhat stuttering struggle to create a new government alliance of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, it has already raised hopes that, almost as a side issue, a union would liberate Newmarket from the present cat’s cradle of boundaries. If the boundary cannot be drawn rationally, the remedy maybe to abolish it altogether. This is scarcely uppermost in the minds of negotiators but it would be a blessing to the town. On the related issue of creating a regional “mayor” as a three-county figurehead, I propose that the early expression of an eagerness to take on the role should automatically disqualify anyone from becoming a candidate.

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John Bone: Mike found building blocks for success

I once worked in an office so small it could not accommodate all of us so the boss told us to clear off when we had no desk work to do. Most of us wasted this gift of spare time but my mate Mike used it to build the bungalow he still inhabits, brick and brick and beam by beam. I remembered his achievement when East Cambs unveiled their plan to help people like Mick exploit the Self Build Act 2015. This is an enlightened approach to the housing problem. If you want to know more about how it works, visit eastcambs.gov.uk but don’t tell them I sent you as a way of cheating your employer.

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